Posts tagged ‘parent’

June 20, 2021

Happy Father’s Day

First Father’s Day without my dear father-in-law. He really was like a second father to me. It’s been a rough few years, and especially few months for him, my husband, and us. It’s the 19th father’s day without my own father. Not a day goes by still that I don’t think of him. I am missing them both so much…

But, I had a dream last night – which is amazing in itself, because I hardly slept. I’ve been doing a lot of tossing and turning these days. But there was at least a few moments where I did drift off enough… to where I got to “see” them both (and my mother-in-law too, actually). I got to hear their voices, and their laughter. I don’t remember everything clearly, but they were happy & they were saying hello, and trying to cheer me up. I was asking them if they were okay… and happy where they were now… and, then somehow that turned into me whining about how worried I am lately. Scared shitless, really… and then about how much I miss talking to my Dad. I could use a good game of gin, cup of coffee and long conversation with him these days.

My Dad reminded me of midnight swims we took when I was a kid, and the special milkshakes we use to create… I hadn’t thought of that in ages. “Peanut-butter elephants”, “Licorice giraffes”, “Green grasshoppers”, and my favorite – “Mid-summer night chillers”. Those are the kinds of memories he wanted me to have of him today. Not sad ones. He also reminded me that my boys are here with me still. I have much to be thankful for. This could have been a much, MUCH, worse father’s day.

I woke up crying and missing them all the more… not wanting them to leave me… again. But it was also so good to “see” them, to “hear” their voices… their laughter. The epitome of “bittersweet”, I guess.

It was good reminder that, like always, our parents wouldn’t want me/us to be sad. Not anymore than I want my own children to be sad. They would want us to enjoy today… & celebrate the dads – and loved ones still with us. Like we would do with them if they were here. And I just so happen to be married to one of the best Dads ever… and he deserves a great father’s day today.

So, Happy Father’s Day to my Honey‚Ě£ I love you so much! Thank you for always doing whatever you can for our boys & the constant love & devotion to our family. And, Happy Father’s Day to all you other great dads out there… Never doubt the impact you have on your children. May you all feel the love & appreciation you deserve today… just like your Dads (& theirs) would want for you.

“The wheel goes round”.

~ smj

Sarah McLachlan, ‘Song For My Father’
February 8, 2014

Orphans and Mothers

“Mom?¬† Does this make you an orphan now?”

That was what my son asked me as we broke our embrace that night when I came home from the hospital.  He had already heard the news Рhis grandmother, my mother, had passed away.

Her passing was completely unexpected. ¬†Quick. ¬†She was gone before we even knew what was happening. ¬†None of us got to say goodbye. ¬†My son’s question caught me off guard, and I felt myself smile a sad smile in spite of the overwhelming pain that had sunk my heart deep into the pit of my stomach.

I looked down¬†into my son’s big, blue eyes as they peered up into my own eyes, searching for – something. ¬†I suddenly worried about what he might find. I didn’t want him to worry about me. That isn’t his job. I felt myself grow a little stronger, for him. As if i had to in order to be tugged back into his world.

My world had stopped up at the hospital. Again.¬†It had come to a shocking halt, along with my mother. I felt numb. Everything was a blur. A bad dream you can’t escape from. Everything else just stops. Nothing else seems to matter.

But, now, my son’s worrisome¬†gaze was¬†forcing me to focus on him, and what he was thinking. How he was feeling. He mattered.

It wasn’t the first time he had played this role in my life. ¬†When my father passed away year’s before, it was this same son, and the thought of how I needed to help him into this world, that kept me going. My father passed shortly before he was born. Everyone was so worried about me. They thought the stress of losing my father would just add too much stress to my pregnancy. But they didn’t know, was that it was just the opposite. Having a new life inside me to focus on that needed me was what kept me from spiraling into a funk. ¬†And, now, he was forcing me to focus on him once again, and the question he had asked so tentatively –¬† was I an orphan now?

In a way, I felt like maybe¬†I was…. ¬†but, no, that didn’t seem right.¬† Not really. ¬†They don’t have a word for grown-ups who have lost both parents. ¬†Do they? ¬†I couldn’t think strait. ¬†Hell, I could barely even wrap my head around the fact that both my parents were now gone. ¬†I did feel alone. ¬†Of course, I knew I wasn’t. ¬†I had a husband who loved me, children I adore, and many other family members and good friends. ¬†But, they are not my parents. ¬†I mean, really, nobody loves you like your mother or father does. ¬†Nobody.

It’s a strange feeling to suddenly not feel like you have that kind of love, and even support, in your life. ¬†Your parents are your biggest fans.¬† Well, at least mine were.¬† Even if your relationship isn’t the best… they are still your mother… or father… and there may be a lot more good there than you really appreciated.¬† ¬†Maybe for some, that is not true.¬† I feel bad for them… but, for most of us – there is deep love there.¬† Myself included.¬†Oh, I admit my relationship with my mother was strained at times – but, there was never any doubt that she loved me, and vice versa.¬† ¬†I am thankful for that. And, I don’t think anyone can fully understand just how deep feelings and connections with parents run, until that connection is actually severed.

I tried to concentrate, and stared back into my¬†son’s sympathetic, inquisitive, eyes that had not left my face. ¬†He was obviously feeling sorry¬†for me. Apparently, he knew enough about orphans to know it wasn’t a good thing. ¬†He also knew my father had passed away years ago – a few months before he¬†was even born. ¬†My father’s passing had been anything but unexpected, or quick. ¬† My¬†younger son never got the chance to meet him. ¬†But, he had heard all about him. ¬†I told him so many stories about his “Pa”,¬† that he felt like he knew him. ¬†He grew up knowing how much I loved my father. ¬†I tried to tell him funny stories, and talk about happy memories. ¬†But, I’m sure it probably wasn’t hard to see that I also missed my father. ¬†Now, my son¬†was worried about me missing my mother too.

“No, honey.¬† This doesn’t make me an orphan”, I told him with a little smile, trying to ease his worried mind.

He only stared up at me sadly. He said nothing, but his eyes were searching my face, obviously still concerned, and also still questioning. ¬†He wanted to understand the answer to his question. ¬†Normally, I’m all about improving my children’s vocabulary, and as we would read a book, I never hesitated to stop to answer questions, or discuss the meanings of words. ¬†But, I didn’t feel like explaining, this time. ¬†Still,¬†I felt he deserved an explanation.¬† Some things in life do not change, even when we feel like our whole life has just changed.¬† Being a mother is one of those things.

So, I explained that an orphan, refers to a child who does not have any parents.¬† And, that since I was all grown up, I was not an orphan.¬† I told my son that I was fortunate to have had a caring mother and father for my whole childhood, and well into my adult life.¬† Not long enough… ¬†never long enough… ¬†but, still, longer than many.¬† And, so, no, I did not consider myself an orphan.

My son still looked concerned, but seemed content with my explanation.  He added one more word to his ever-expanding vocabulary.

I added a few more reasons to the mental check-list I was working on, titled, “Reasons I Can’t Completely Loose It“. ¬† I realized I had a few really good reasons, actually. ¬†Both of my boys for starters. ¬†They alone are good reason for most things I do. ¬† Add to that the fact that it’s not their job to worry about me. ¬†It is my job to try to make them feel better… and to help them understand things…¬† Not to mention to help develop their vocabulary.

In the end, my children help me more than they can ever know.

I hope my parents would say the same of me.¬† I wish I could help them more now.¬† I wish I hadn’t been such a pain in the ass when I was younger.¬† I hope my Mom knew I loved her so much, even when I didn’t act like it.

I miss them both so much.